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Want to donate this Christmas? Make sure your money goes where it's supposed to

The regulator said legitimate charities depend on the generosity of the public around this time.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

CHRISTMAS IS AN important time for charities. People are feeling more generous and for the non-profit organisations who do not get any government funding, or who get very little, donations around the festive period can help keep them afloat.

This week the Charities Regulator issued advice to anyone wishing to donate to charities, so they can ensure their money is going where it is supposed to.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, its CEO John Farelly said a number of concerns about potential charity scams have been reported in the last year.

These include clothing collections by organisations that are not registered charities – something he said “significant money” can be made from – and cold calling and mail to vulnerable people requesting donations.

“People don’t like that and they don’t want it. The majority of registered charities won’t do this,” he said.

We have an understanding with the guards and already one man was prosecuted earlier in the year. We have a number of other potential prosecutions coming down the line.

“What we really want to get across coming up to the Christmas period is that a lot of charities aren’t State funded and they really do rely on the generosity of people. We want to emphasise that you can support registered charities and check them out through our website,” he added.

Tips from the regulator include:

  • Check the charity name, logo and registered charity number that appearon any collection leaflets;
  • Ensure any fundraising materials have clear contact and registration details for the charity;
  • Check that the person collecting the donation has official identification and has a permit to collect in that particular area;
  • Ask if the collector knows what the charity does and can give examples of its work;
  • Do not provide your personal, credit card or online account details unless you know it is a trusted source;
  • If you think that there is something wrong, contact the charity directly and alert them to your concerns.

To check the register before you donate to a charity of your choice this Christmas, you can search for it on the regulator’s website.

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